No baseball for you, Mr. Bauer
Another year come and gone and the view from Whiterock Avenue of the Fox River remains unobstructed by a baseball stadium. The Waukesha Freeman reported yesterday that the Northwoods Baseball League will just have to wait another year before asking the Waukesha Common Council for permission to dig up Frame Park.
The plans are on hold until at least 2011. Mayor Larry Nelson said he has conversed with Chad Bauer, who is to build the stadium for a Northwoods League baseball team.
Bauer has not secured financing to build the stadium. Even if he does Nelson said the stadium would not be ready for baseball until 2011. The Common Council has to reapprove an agreement with Bauer in order for the stadium to be built.
“Right now it is a moot point unless he comes up with the financing,” Nelson said. “… The ball is still in Chad’s court to see if he can come up with the investors and the financing.”
Bauer told The Freeman in September that the economic recession led to difficulties in securing financial backing for the project.
Voice messages were left on Bauer’s phone Thursday and Friday. The messages were not returned.
When asked if the delay has made Nelson more skeptical of the proposed stadium and team, Nelson said Bauer “acted in good faith” in renovating the current playing field at Frame Park, “…something he didn’t need to do.”
(Note: Bauer signed the standard parks volunteer form when he renovated the field, and it was not part of any separate agreement with the city.)
City Administrator Lori Luther said that the proposed Northwoods Baseball League team was not part of the budget calculations for next year.
Willmar joins Alexandria, Brainerd, Duluth, Mankato, Rochester, and St. Cloud as Minnesota cities in the NWL; Eau Claire, Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, and Wausau from Wisconsin; Waterloo, Iowa; Battle Creek, Michigan; and Thunder Bay, Ontario.